THE SCHOOL BELL

Williston Schools /December 9, 2020

A Message from the Administration

In-Person Learning for Grades 5 & 6 Increases to 4 Days a Week December 14

By Jacqueline Parks


WCS is excited for our 5th and 6th graders to return to school 4-days beginning next week. Our system and teams have been preparing for this over the past few weeks. We have revamped our Essential Arts schedule, our arrival and dismissal procedures, our lunch and recess schedules and teams have reworked their schedules to accommodate these changes. As we have worked, our COVID-19 safety procedures and protocols have been considered, in order to create a safe learning environment for all. We are ready to receive students and can’t wait to have them back.


However, as 5th and 6th graders transition back to a 4-day week, we understand that students will be in a period of adjustment. The students will now have access to their team level peers, which will be exciting and present some social challenges to navigate. Learning communities in classrooms will need to be nurtured in order for students to come together as a larger group. Instruction will move to larger sized groups which will impact the teaching techniques that teachers use for student learning. The good news is that our students will navigate these things with the support of adults both at school and at home. They will be able to let go of their remote learning schedule and they will have fewer transitions to juggle between their in-person, remote, and Wednesday schedules. They will have quick access to their teachers for questions and general check-ins. There is no doubt that being in school 4-days per week will overall be positive for our students in both an academic and social-emotional way.


Our K-4 students and their parents have already been through the adjustment back to a 4-day week and they are thriving! We are encouraged by this and expect the same positive results for our 5th and 6th graders.


Updated Arrival/Dismissal Information

(more detailed information was previously sent to families)


Arrival:

7:50-8:00 am Bus arrival

8:00-8:10 am Car drop off for ¾ teams, Sterling House & Stride House

8:10-8:20 am Car drop off for Full, Harbor, Swift & Voyager


Dismissal:

2:40-2:50 pm Bus rider dismissal

2:50-3:00 pm ¾ Team Car Pick-Up, Full and Harbor Houses

3:00-3:10 pm Car Pick-up for Sterling, Voyager, Swift

Attention WCS Families

Important: Changes to Student Pick-up Procedures at WCS

SPECIAL NOTE: New pickup time for STERLING HOUSE and new pick-up location for KALEIDOSCOPE HOUSE

TO HELP WITH TRAFFIC FLOW AND AVOID THE BACK-UPS WE HAVE BEEN EXPERIENCING, please be sure to arrive at the designated pick-up time for your WCS student. Your help with this is greatly appreciated. If everyone chips in with this effort, we will all be rewarded with a safer and quicker experience. THANK YOU.

CVSD School Budget

Budget Season is Underway!
The Champlain Valley School District's Board of Directors invites all members of the CVSD community to join us for the budget process. Please mark your calendars for these upcoming School Board budget meetings.

  • December 15: Operations and Maintenance
  • January 5: Summary and Tax Implications
To best understand the process, try to attend all meetings, the information shared builds across the sequence of meetings. Online meeting information will be posted on the website. www.cvsdvt.org/budget

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ATTENTION 7th and 8th Grade Parents / Caregivers

The School District has adjusted the Hybrid group attendance for Monday, 12/21 and Tuesday, 12/22, so that both A and B groups get an in-person day during our last two days in session. Students in Group 1 (Group A) will attend school in-person on Monday, 12/21; students in Group 2 (Group B) will attend in-person on Tuesday, 12/22. Each of the groups will participate remotely on the corresponding off-site day.

Spare Clothing Needed for ABS Students

With cold, wet weather and so much time spent outdoors, we hope families can ensure all students have a spare set of clean, dry clothes at school, as we are not able to share clothing safely this year.

Social Gatherings Q & A

We hope this Q&A from the Health Office will help clarify information on social gathering guidelines and the requirement for quarantine before returning to school in person.


Q1. Why can’t we gather socially right now?

Vermont is seeing a surge in new COVID-19 cases. Recent data have shown that social gatherings, both inside and outside, at homes, bars and social clubs, and among sports teams are currently driving outbreaks in Vermont. This is why there are restrictions on social gatherings at this time. We must all do our part to slow the spread, ensure hospitals are not overwhelmed, help schools continue to offer in-person instruction, and keep as many Vermonters working as possible. We know this is difficult, but hope that as Vermonters follow this guidance,we can return to the low case numbers we had and ease restrictions once again. Read more on the Vermont Department of Health website.


Q2. What gatherings outside of school are allowed for the education and care of children?

Gathering in pre-established “pods” related to education and/or childcare remains allowable. Pods related to social activity or informal play groups are prohibited at this time. New pods of any kind are discouraged.


Q3. What is a child care pod?

A child care pod consists of a specific group of caregivers and children who gather regularly and exclusively so that the caregiver(s) can provide childcare while their parents/guardians engage in work or other necessary activities.


Q4. What is an education pod?

An education pod consists of a specific group of instructors/facilitators and students who gather regularly and exclusively for the purpose of providing education or tutoring for the students in the pod.


Q5. May my relative who lives alone gather with my family without triggering the need to quarantine/stay home from school?

The allowances in the Governor’s Executive Order also apply to the Agency of Education’s guidance to schools. Since the Executive Order states that individuals who live alone may gather with no more than one other household, that type of gathering would be allowable under AOEguidance as well.


Q6. My child moves between the households of their parents due to a shared custody agreement. Does this movement between households constitute a gathering or require quarantine?

Shared parental custody where a child or children move between their parents’ households does not necessitate quarantine, so long as all other health and safety guidance is followed.


Q7. If the child generally is with Parent A, but is with Parent B for the weekend or a holiday, what should Parent A do for an attestation on a screening question about gatherings?

Regardless of if Parent A was involved, if the student attended a multi-household gathering with Parent B, they need to note that on any screening questionnaire and stay home from school/quarantine as directed.


Q8. Is carpooling to school allowed?

Yes. Providing rides to school or appointments is not a violation of the guidance and does not require quarantine. Everyone in the car should wear a mask and the windows should be open or cracked,whenever possible. No one should get in the car if they don’t feel well.


Q9. If parents have an allowable child care arrangement with a family member, can they have social gatherings with that family member?

While pods may be allowed for childcare or education, individuals, even those in educational or care pods, are prohibited from social gatherings outside their household as defined in the executive order and guidance.


Q10. What kind of afterschool activities are allowable?

School-sanctioned afterschool programs, hubs for the care/supervision of children, licensed child care programs and child care pods following applicable health and safety guidance are allowable. The Governor has suspended school and rec sports leagues until future notice. Non-sport, school-sanctioned extracurricular activities are allowable so long as they comply with the Strong and Healthy Start: Safety and Health Guidance for Vermont Schools, including participants wearing masks and maintaining physical distancing requirements.

Extra Masks, Winter Clothing

With the colder weather, having the right clothes for recess and outdoor learning is necessary. Please ensure your children come to school with jackets, gloves, hats, snow pants and boots .


A big reminder to parents to send in an extra mask because masks are getting wet at recess.

PCR Testing Sites

There are quarantine requirements in order for your student to return to in-person learning if you travel out of state.

Only PCR testing can be used to test out of quarantine, rapid testing results will not be accepted. Please see below for a list of available testing sites.


  • Your local Kinney Drugs:

    • Shelburne: 802-985-0008

    • Hinesurg: 802-482-4886

    • Burlington: 802-864-8154

    • Essex Junction: 802-878-5351


  • ClearChoiceMD South Burlington: 802-448-8205

  • UVM Drive thru at Fanny Allen: 802-847-5440

  • Your student’s Pediatrician’s office can be contacted for further advice


If you have further questions or would like more information regarding travel/quarantine requirements, please call the Vermont Department of Health: 802-863-7240. You can also contact your child’s school nurse. Thank you for your help in keeping our schools open and our school communities safe and healthy.


Williston Central School Health Office

802-871-6170


Allen Brook School Health Office

802-871-6248

Allen Brook Library News

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What to Know About Potential Hill Road Closings for Buses Due to Road Conditions

On the occasions it is determined a Williston school bus will not be driving on a hill* road during the morning pick up, we hope to be able to contact families early enough for you to get students to a stop at the start of the hill to catch the bus. When the hills are closed in the morning, it includes hills on the preschool bus routes.Alternatively, during the afternoon bus runs, we will contact families to advise you that the bus will need to drop children off at the start of the hill, and you can meet the bus there if necessary. If no one arrives to meet younger students, they will be brought back to school until arrangements are made for them to be picked up. Please talk with your bus drivers to let them know if you are comfortable letting your child walk home from the drop off location.

We will use the Connect 5 automated calling system to send a voice message to families on the hill roads.


*These are the hill roads: Butternut, Highlands, Porterwood, Oak Knoll, Rabbits Run, Evergreen, Fortier, Douglas, Yantz Hill, lower River Cove, Meadow Ridge, Ledgewood, Bayberry, Terrace, Jasmine, Wild Ginger, French Hill**, Sunrise Drive, Sunset, Lincoln, Chaloux, and Walker Hill.

**Students who live on or off Rt. 2 (Williston Rd) east of the 4-way intersection at the Federated Church should be picked up from school, as the bus will not drive toward French Hill in bad weather.

Physical Education Weather Reminder

As the weather changes and gets colder, we want to remind families that the Physical Education staff is planning to be outside with PE classes as a first priority. PLEASE DRESS APPROPRIATELY FOR THE TEMPERATURE AND CONDITIONS... (jackets, hats, gloves, etc).


We recommend bringing in or keeping a few extra pairs of socks, gloves, or mittens in a cubby or backpack. Additional layers (snow pants or boots) would be acceptable for PE if needed. If younger students need snow pants for recess, they should wear snow pants to PE. Fresh air and movement is good for us all; let's be safe and prepared for the weather!


- Cathy Kohlasch, Lynn McClintock, Dustin King, Lyn Porter

Four Winds

Click on the links below! You will find fun facts, diagrams, photos, activities, and even the videos of the beloved puppet show!


The theme for the year is Structure and Function.

Our first unit explores Spiders.

The second unit investigates Tremendous Trees.

This time we are comparing Predators and Prey!


We will also offer an outdoor, socially-distant (but in-person!) lesson, including the puppet show and related activities, at ABS once a month on a Wednesday at 10:30am.


See the dates below if you are interested in joining us!

1/27 - Skulls

2/17 - Birds of a Feather

3/17 - Calling All Owls

4/21 - Defenses

5/19 - Bees


Feel free to email, visit our website, or share your findings and photos on our Padlet.

Be curious!

Deb & Amanda, Your Four Winds Williston Coordinators

Visit the Williston Four Winds Blog

Virtual Learning Academy Website

click here to access the VLA site

Hybrid Learning Website

Hybrid Learning Schedules, Tech Support info and more

Upcoming Events


Dec. 15 - Budget Meeting

Dec 23-Jan 1 - No School / Early Winter Break

Jan 5 - Budget Meeting

Jan 18 - No School/Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Feb 22-26 - No School / Winter Break

Child Find Notice

Champlain Valley School District (CVSD) is required by federal law to locate, identify and evaluate all children with disabilities. The process of locating, identifying and evaluating children with disabilities is known as child find.


CVSD schools conduct Kindergarten screening each spring, but parents may call to make an appointment to discuss their concerns at any time. As the school district of residence, CVSD has the responsibility to identify and provide services to any child with special needs who may require special education and related services in order to access and benefit from public education.


If you have, or know of any CVSD resident who has a child with a disability under the age of 21 or a child who attends a private school located in Charlotte, Hinesburg, Shelburne, St. George or Williston, Vermont, we would like to hear from you. Sometimes parents are unaware that special education services are available to their children.


Please contact the School Principal, (Williston Central/Allen Brook Schools – 878-2762) or the Director of Student Support Services, Meagan Roy at 383-1234 or mroy@cvsdvt.org.

ABS Arrival and Dismissal Time

Students being driven to ABS in the mornings can now arrive between 7:50 to 8:10 am (all grades). Walkers are welcome as early as 7:40, when the buses are arriving. Click here for full document.

School Meals

Please visit the Food Service website for the remote learning days order form and more information.


We are excited to be able to serve your children hot food at school once again as well as continue to offer grab and go and delivery of meals for those students who are learning remotely. CVSD will be able to continue to offer free meals for all children 18 years of age and younger as we start school.


If your student has special dietary requirements please let us know. We will be happy to make reasonable accommodations (prepare a vegetarian version, substitute gluten free grain, bread or crust, soy milk or offer an alternate meal) to make sure they can have something nutritious and delicious to eat.

December Menu

School Handbook

The school handbook for 20-21 is under construction.